Students Experience

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My learning throughout the first year has been helped by an unerring optimism in the value of nursing, and an appreciation that each and every daily interaction augments my experience (Spouse 2003:200, Marris 1986 cited by Johns 2000:65). This enthusiasm, however, has caused an inhibitory effect on my self-directed researching, and created conflict in some placement areas. Whilst developing my role as a nurse, my activities as a person at home and beyond have diminished, as I attempt to adjust to the demands of both domains (Spouse 2003:109). I resent distracting influences, and frequently domestic pressures restrain my desired pace to accumulate factual knowledge. As described by Palmer et al. (1994:40), my learning can oscillate between two extremes, “all or nothing”. Spouse (2003:42) depicts the student nurses’ need to develop multi-tasking skills emotionally, mentally and physically as they are caught between the cultures of clinical areas, peer driven University life and home. The conflicts arising from these settings creates a disharmony, which I believe for some, may undermine nursing as a career choice. The developmental educative process in nursing is a sophisticated and complex combination of scientific, logical, humanitarian, communicative experiences and psychomotor skills, designed to consolidate abilities and produce “knowledgeable doers” (Sajiwandani 2000:51, Slevin 1992:36, Cheung 1992:159). Level one students are progressively introduced to models of self-assessment, for example Johns’ Model of Structured Reflection (1993:11), patient assessment models, for example Roper et al. Activities of Living (1999). They are also exposed to many intellectual academic and practical concepts simultaneously within the multi-various placements. The learning experience is an attempt to focus the mind, and is defined by Kolb (1986, cited by Earnshaw and Dale 1994:16), as part of the perpetual cycle of reflection, generalisation and application of any event. This

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